Embrace Your Power!

Ink on watercolor paper – Words: Ayanna Howard

It is not always easy being ourselves. When we look at what talents, skills, experiences and confidence other people seem to have, jealousy can be hard to resist. Other people seem to be able to do all the things we struggle with doing, and they make it look easy. Oh how great it would be to be them. Their lives seem so much easer than our own. As this quote from Ayanna Howard reminds us, what is our greatest difference may be what gives us a unique ability to innovate.

Less than five percent of robotic engineers are women, less than one percent of those women are black. So Ayanna Howard is in rare air. She stands out and stands tall, especially as the person who founded Zyrobotics, a company that develops mobile therapy and educational products for children with special needs. Oh yeah, and she developed the next generation Mars rover. She was inspired by the TV Show the Bionic Woman to create artificial limbs for people, but didn’t like biology. Once she heard about robotics she knew her dreams could come true.

The mountains she climbed must have felt insurmountable as she looked at the faces of her fellow students, most of which did not look like her. Instead of letting that stop her, it fueled her. She worked hard and let her differences become her unique proposition and kept working to make her ideas come to life. Instead of wanting to be someone else, she embraced all the things about her self that made her think, work and dream differently than all those other engineers.

All of us could use that reminder every now and then. Everyone is not better, smarter or faster than you. They do not always have it all together, and they certainly do not think or dream like you. Instead of wanting to be someone else, embrace your true self and let your difference fuel your ideas. What makes you unique makes you powerful!

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